The Human element. I installed The HUman element "mur-all" this morning. It was amazingly easy to do alone and in costume. Dressed as SweetFrau I put up the three panels quickly and easily. And, had an awesome and inspiring conversation with Juan, who works for the City of Santa Rosa and is an aspiring photographer. He showed me some of his images they were great. He seems especially talented with portraits.
The mural is located in front of Miso Good Ramen at 507 4th street near the corner of 4th and B.
SweetFrau Strikes again... with a self-service table for safe social distanced Trick or Treating. Thanks to the intrepid souls who came out today, masked and observant of others. It was nice to see your costumes and share some joy.
I wore my costume all day and did some shameless promotion by giving away candy AND free stickers and pins that I made. Putting them out on the table for trick or treators felt more intimate, and was perfect for the small number of participants this year. FYI-On a regular year we go through 1200+ pieces of candy and/or stickers between 6-8:30, when we close up shop to cruise the neighborhood ourselves.
The HUman element. Since the mural is divided into three pieces, I was able to attach the element blocks to the boards in my infamous studio-kitchen. But, finishing them in the apartment is not possible due to the fumes created by the acrylic top coat.
So, once again, my friend Pam Rowen-Herzog and her family allowed me to work in their barn. Which means multiple trips to Cotati for a few days to apply additional coats of the sealer. And, quick stops downtown to gather acorns from some prodigious trees to feed to Chewy when I arrive at the barn. I have spoiled that crazy pig for years, bringing treats with me. So, if he hears my voice he comes running over and can get quite vocal.
The HUman element. The layout of the mural is finished, the boards have been gridded, the colors have been assigned and the element blocks have been printed. Now comes the scary part... putting it all together. Seriously, I had a great deal of anxiety about this. Working with the paper I chose for this project has been a challenge with a number of failed experiments and botched samples.
The pink paper is incredibly difficult to deal with. I needed to develop a new technique and use extreme care when working with it. I had so much anxiety about this on Saturday, that I decided NOT to work on on it as planned. Instead, I frittered away the day feeling the anxiety rising, while working on another part of the project and watching Netflix. Which, turned out to be just what I needed.
It was a weird experience to "sit with" that much anxiety yesterday, rather than running away from it or trying to push or force my way through it. I reflected on the validity of the anxiety, and followed threads of thoughts back to entrenched negative beliefs about myself and fear. I found doubt, mistrust, reluctance, insecurity, suspicion and a mindset of scarcity and fear. It was an awful and awkward experience. Yet, I could feel a bubbling energy underneath the anxiety, which was pleasant at times. Fascinating and enlightening.
I woke up today, with mild anxiety and thought... Lets just start slow and see what happens. I know what I am doing and I can learn as I go. Taking this relaxed view, I was able to work calmly and efficiently. And, the results were fantastic!
Here are some images from the work in progress in the studio-kitchen!
The HUman element. I have been working on the images from the photo session for past few days, basically tweaking the contrast and composition/crop of the images.
Today, I began blocking out the layout of the element blocks for the large mural. It was interesting and exciting to see them all together, since I have been working on them, and treating them individually since obtaining them. The idea was to combine the images in a cohesive manner to captivate and carry a curious eye from one image to another, while showing the diversity of the humans pictured. I could feel life teeming, moving, and almost bursting forward seeing them laid out as a group on the floor in my tiny apartment.
The HUman element. Today was the first official photo session for the HUman element project for the "mur-all" which will be installed in Santa Rosa. It was terribly exciting, and also anxiety producing, since I was using a new method to obtain and produce the element blocks for the mural. I was not sure how the people and the technology would mesh with each other. And, whether people would participate during a pandemic on an afternoon which exceeded 100 degrees.
I was delightfully surprised to have a leisurely stream of participants. Which, allowed me to tweak and refine the process with ease. It also gave me ample time to chat/spend some time with each participant. And later, to troubleshoot and strategize about ways to improve public engagement.
All thinks considered, it was a great way to spend my BIRTHDAY!
Thanks to the city of Santa Rosa and Creative Sonoma for this opportunity!
Here are a few photos of participants....
What SUP with Chick P.? I am so glad that you asked.
After weeks spent under a tarp due to smoke and hot weather, Chick P.'s piano debut has finally arrived. This intrepid little chick is out paddling around and making new friends on/in the Petaluma River. His piano was picked up today by Petaluma Pete (John Maher). Who, will be placing it somewhere downtown when the time is right.
Chick P.'s new friends each have their own unique answer to his question which bubbles out of them.
The HUman element. Today I built barriers, of a sort, to cordon off the area I will need to maintain social distancing protocols for the photo session part of the HUman element project that will take place in Old Courthouse Square in Santa Rosa in a week or so. They are lightweight and built from redwood lath. The open part at the top will accommodate an informational sign on either side.
Designing and making things is fun!
Yesterday, I installed signs to help bring attention to the upcoming exhibition, "Petaluma's Participation in the Women's Suffrage Movement." The exhibition opens officially on August 26th!
In lieu of in-person visits, the museum will be offering an online gallery tour with the dynamic curator historian and patron Paula Freund. I am really looking forward to seeing it! Check the museum's website https://www.PetalumaMuseum.org for details on the online gallery tour and upcoming events related to the exhibition.
Check out my new VOTE with LOVE series and Sunflower signs installed last night. I will be selling stickers, and perhaps posters, to raise money to fund this and other empowering inspirational projects. Don't be shy about sharing the wealth if you can! And, remember that no matter what, you are amazing!
To see the designs go the the VOTE with LOVE page.
And, stay tuned!
Today, I secured a grant from the City of Santa Rosa as a part of there COVID inspired Open and Out program for a project that I have been developing for the past two years. YAY!!!!!!!!
It is called The HUman element. The concept underlying the design amalgamates the periodic table of elements, which comprise life as we know it, with positive traits/aspects of being human, which sustain this life. There are 130 “symbols” currently in our library. The number in the top left of each image indicates the number of humans, out of the 7.5 billion sharing this planet, who appear in the photo. The public is invited to participate safely in person, following COVID protocols at a scheduled photo session in their community, or safely from home, by submitting an image through email.
Below is a sample image I submitted for the grant. There will be 36 different images used in the final. the sample contains only 10 which are repeated.The finished "mur-all" will be 4 ft x 8 ft and will be mounted to a parklet outside a restaurant in downtown Santa Rosa.
Project Announcements, Updates and Minor Ramblings